Economics is exciting and increasingly relevant in a global environment. Throughout this course you will study topics that are wide ranging, such as the debate about whether we should allow fracking, whether taxes on the rich should be raised or whether students should pay more for their university fees. We will also explore the impacts of economic shocks such as the Global Financial Crisis and more recently, the Covid pandemic on the UK and global economy.
It is a contemporary subject that requires students to carefully analyse important issues, consider the opinions of others and engage in animated discussions. As such topics are diverse and controversial, we expect all candidates to be able to read widely, be able to justify their arguments and be brave enough to reach their own informed conclusions.
Studying Economics at A Level gives our students the opportunity to apply economic analysis to problems that the current government faces. The subject equips them with the skills needed to make reasoned judgements regarding government policies that could be used to correct market failures. Economics is a diverse and dynamic subject as we study both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics in both years. Students also sit a paper which requires synoptic analysis, where elements from both sides of the course are used. We illustrate economic theory by relating each topic studied to current examples in the BBC News headlines.
The students subscribe to ‘Economics Today’ magazine and they also have free access to the ‘Financial Times’ online to encourage wider reading.
Our aim is to make lessons enjoyable and engaging, so that students will be enthusiastic, inquisitive, empowered and have high expectations of themselves. Students must be able to understand the world around them, to apply economic analysis to economic problems and to make reasoned judgements on economic issues.
Syllabus and Examinations
Edexcel (Pearson) 9EC0
The Edexcel specification is a two year course, divided into the study of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. It focuses on key themes and issues in economics.
Paper 1: Markets and Business Behaviour
Themes 1 & 3 (Introduction to Markets and Business Behaviour) Microeconomics - Two hour written paper
Paper 2: The National and Global Economy
Themes 2 & 4 (The UK Economy & A Global Perspective) Macroeconomics - Two hour written paper
Paper 3: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
Questions from all 4 Themes - Two hour written paper
The examinations are a mixture of data response, multiple choice and extended essay questions
Our U6 Economics students are encouraged to attend the annual Tutor2u Grade Booster revision conference in the run up to their final examinations in order to consolidate content learnt and refine their examination technique. It is an intensive workshop which builds their confidence and provides a focus for their remaining revision time.
Other trips that have run in the past include events that expose them to key speakers in industry such as the IEA Student Conference which covered talks about inequality, UK productivity, Brexit and careers in Economics.
Potential Degree Courses and Career Choices
Economics is studied at degree level either singly or combined with other disciplines. It is an essential element in many professions such as Accountancy, Banking, Finance, Business Management and Politics. Please note that whereas Economics A Level does not require in-depth mathematical skills and knowledge, an A Level in Mathematics (and even Further Mathematics) can often be a requirement for studying Economics at degree at some universities.
Almost Everyone’s Guide to Economics, J.K. Galbraith
The Affluent Society, J.K. Galbraith
The Economic Review
23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (Ha-Joon Chang) – challenges conventional thinking
Art of Strategy (Dixit and Nalebuff) – especially good for Game Theory examples and analysis
GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History (Professor Diane Coyle) – very good on the GDP / well-being debate
Inequality (AB Atkinson) – a superb book on one of the defining economic/political issues of the age
Poor Economics: Rethinking Ways to Fight Global Poverty (Banerjee & Duflo) – development economics
Doughnut Economics (Kate Raworth) – challenges much of orthodox thinking on environmental issues
Great Economists: How their ideas can help us today (Linda Yueh) – perspectives on contemporary issues
The Undercover Economist (Tim Harford) – brings the power of economics to life
Dead Aid: why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa (Dambisa Moyo) – focus on more sustainable solutions
Misbehaving: the making of behavioural economics (Richard Thaler) – an interesting look at behavioural economics
Dirty Money - This series exposes acts of corporate greed and corruption - Seasons 1 & 2 - each episode is about an hour long
Explained - Each episode is about 20 mins long, some suggestions are: Season 1 - The racial wealth gap, cryptocurrency, the stock market, why women are paid less. Season 2 - Billionaires, the future of meat, diamonds.